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The Monster New Russia -- Or The New Russian Monster?

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Bloviating Zeppelin: The Monster New Russia -- Or The New Russian Monster?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Monster New Russia -- Or The New Russian Monster?


Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton implant has, once again, apparently stirred and ruffled some recent feathers with his comments regarding Russia -- and in my opinion he would be positively spot-on with his analyses.

Russia's Putin has been doing the feint-and-dodge in the worst place of all: in plain sight. Those who think that Russia is another dissembling former-powerhouse nation would be wrong -- critically wrong. Yes, its Blue Water navy is primarily rusting; it has not a complete clue as to how it will make its next month's army payroll; the Russian Mafia is alive and well domestically as well as abroad.

On the other hand as evinced by the photo at left, Putin has been doing his level best to court China and provide hardware and equipment to, eh, shall we say, "other nations."

If you are not already aware, Russia sits on top of a vast (emphasize vast) wealth of untapped mineral, gas and petroleum deposits. And Putin, as far as I'm concerned, means to draft Russia behind various world powerhouses and then, at the appropriate moment, make his move into the Left Power Lane. And he means, at this point, to do it with Energy.

Per Reuters:

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A speech by Vice President Dick Cheney strongly critical of the Kremlin marks the start of a new Cold War that could drive Moscow away from its new-found Western allies, the Russian press said on Friday.

In shocked reaction to the harshest U.S. criticism of Moscow for years, commentators said Washington had created an anti-Russian cordon of Western-aligned states stretching from the Baltic almost to the Caspian Sea.

The Kremlin, in a reaction within hours of Cheney's delivery in Vilnius, said the speech, which was full of accusations that Moscow was limiting human rights and using its energy riches to blackmail the world, was "completely incomprehensible."

What remarks had Cheney made? From Reuters once again:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Friday backed Vice President Dick Cheney's tough speech on Russia and said Russian President Vladimir Putin should move on democratic reforms before hosting a major international summit in July.

Cheney had said in a speech in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on Thursday that opponents of democratic reform in Russia "are seeking to reverse the gains of the last decade."

Putin's moves for Russia have been precisely as I've indicated: in plain sight had one been able to read them for what they were. Further explanation:

The new tensions come as the United States is seeking support from Russia on applying pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.

Russia, which has major investments in Iran, has stood firm against U.N. sanctions on Tehran to the chagrin of Washington.

"They add up the pluses and minuses, they don't want to trash the relationship with Iran," said Steve Pifer, a Russian expert for the State Department in Bush's first term and now an analyst for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He said the Cheney speech was a signal that Washington "is uneasy about some of the directions that the Russians are moving in."

Cheney criticized Moscow for playing power politics with its vast energy reserves at a time of record world prices and accused it of bullying neighboring countries, many of which were dominated by the Kremlin in the Soviet era.

Pifer said that was a reference to Russia's turning off its natural gas taps to Ukraine in a pricing dispute that disrupted supplies to Europe briefly.


Putin is doing precisely what he intends: to bring Russia back into the international spotlight and recreate and reassemble its former Glory Days when the USSR was one of only two Superpowers. He is doing his best to forget 1989, Ronald Reagan and the word "Balkanized."

Putin has already placed his nation directly in conflict with the United States with regard to his supplying Iran with technologically-sophisticated air defense systems.

From the Jerusalem Post, 01-31-2006:
But the far more controversial decision by Putin's regime - to sell Russia's sophisticated air defense systems to Iran - not only changes the situation in principle but triggers a scenario for possible regional and even global catastrophe.

Israel had room for maneuver for a year and a half, until Iran's probable completion of its first nuclear weapon. Now it has only a few months, because the Russian air defense systems protecting Iranian nuclear objectives will be fully deployed by autumn of 2006. An Israeli strike would be much more difficult, if not impossible, once these systems are in place. This means that a preventive strike by the Israelis would occur most likely before this summer.

Russia's role in advancing the date of this potentially desperate military action by providing Iran with high-quality air defense weapons raises the question of whether Putin might have had some additional purpose besides the profits from his weapons sale. Israel's defensive strike would likely incite Iranian action to block the shipments of oil through the Straits of Hormuz.

Putin seems to perceive such a scenario as beneficial to him.

Much is linked. Much is controverted. Much is deeper than most would suspect. You would do well to do what is popularly termed today: "connect the dots."

They are present if one wishes but to see.

We in the United States see Iraq. We see Afghanistan. We see Iran to a degree. We see North Korea. We need to see Russia.

Of course -- most of our students couldn't identify Ohio or Texas or Montana on a map if their lives depended on it.

Can you say: "Would you like fries with that?"

__________________________________


I am posting now from my home high atop various Sierra Nevada mountains. The problem is that I have not been home for quite some time, despite the fact that I have nothing more than a telephone modem. I will be bringing my Big Bruiser HP Pavilion zd8000 laptop down into the Sacramento Valley and, with luck, I will be able to convince my ISP to show me how to link up to another dialup number.

I am undergoing Blogger Withdrawal and it isn't a Pretty Picture at all. Please stick with me. I am not going away. Anything but.

BZ

2 Comments:

Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Putin is ex-KGB and it *shows*.

Russia *still* needs a warm-water port. They have problems making nice with the Chinese over the ages, don't trust those Europeans too much even after Socialism started to rot Old Europe, can't trust the Turks (although they work together real nice when trying to stop the US), so that leaves... well some parts of the Central Asian folks between Russia and Iran. Not that there have been *any* problems through there that Russia just *might* have had a hand in...

Putin is pure Authoritarian and can't figure out trend lines on life expectencies of same in a world where information goes to the other side of the planet in a second and a half. Must figure that he can get support from the Russian Mob... good luck, Vlad!

Russia has *always* had vast natural resources... and ruined everything to not use them well.

Have to work up a Note to the Russian People... but first, sinuses...

Sat May 06, 04:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

AJ: Putin is just that -- ex-KGB. An excellent point. It would appear Putin is making an attempt to put Russia back on Front Street in the Superpower venue -- at the expense of his neighbors and other nations. Can he actually acquire cooperation from his admin and the work class? And what philisophy does the working class support now, anyway?

Good luck on your sinuses. Allergies are kicking my butt Largely.

BZ

Sat May 06, 11:51:00 AM PDT  

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